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SC takes up Ayodhya verdict deferment plea

By Onkar Singh
Last updated on: September 23, 2010 14:42 IST

The Supreme Court on Thursday afternoon took up the plea for deferment of the Allahabad High Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit.

The matter was taken up by a bench headed by Justice R V Raveendran at 2 pm at court number 3. 

The apex court had on Wednesday declined to hear urgently the plea to postpone the Ayodhya title suit verdict by the Allahabad High Court on Friday.

A bench of the court, while refusing to hear the petition filed by retired bureaucrat Ramesh Chand Tripathi, said that it did not have the "determination" to take up the issue and added that it will be listed before another bench.

Tripathi had on Wednesday approached the apex court five days after the high court's Ayodhya bench rejected his petition for deferring the verdict and to allow mediation to find a solution to the contentious dispute.

The Allahabad High Court had also imposed 'exemplary costs' of Rs 50,000, terming Tripathi's effort for an out-of-court settlement of the dispute as a "mischievous attempt".

The Special Leave Petition by Tripathi, which sought some time to allow mediation, also challenged the costs imposed on him.

Like his petition before the high court, Tripathi in his petition in the apex court, claimed that the verdict might disturb communal harmony and lead to violence in the country.

In the petition filed through advocate Sunil Jain, Tripathi had cited several reasons for deferment of the verdict, which he said would be in "public interest" in view of the apprehension of communal flare up, upcoming Commonwealth Games, elections in Bihar and violence in Kashmir Valley and Naxal-hit states.

The petition had feared that there would be inadequate security personnel in Uttar Pradesh to provide security.

Tripathi had also referred to an earlier order of the Court on July 27 last that parties concerned are at liberty to approach the Officer on Special Duty for formation of the bench if there was any possibility of disposal of the dispute or arrival at an understanding through consensus.

One of the three judges in the Lucknow bench, however, disagreed with the majority order rejecting the plea for deferring the Ayodhya verdict to allow mediation and gave a dissenting opinion that an amicable settlement could have been explored.

Justice Dharam Veer Sharma, while not concurring with the view of the other two judges -- Justice S U Khan and Justice Sudhir Agarwal -- also said in his dissenting judgment that he wasn't consulted when the three-judge bench gave the order while dismissing the plea for mediation.

Additional Inputs: PTI

Onkar Singh in New Delhi